NASCAR Xfinity Series

A.J. Allmendinger wins Mid-Ohio 170 with final-stage rally

3 Mins read
Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images

A.J. Allmendinger is now part of some rare company in the NASCAR Xfinity Series: he joins Marcos Ambrose as the only drivers to have five wins in the series on road courses. After suffering a pit penalty prior to the final stage in Saturday’s B&L Transport 170 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Allmendinger fought his way through the order to win become the track’s first multi-time NASCAR winner.

Allmendinger started the race in twelfth while Austin Cindric, also a road course ace, was on the pole alongside Ty Gibbs, who won last week’s race and at the Daytona Road Course in his Xfinity début, and had also triumphed in the ARCA Menards Series event at Mid-Ohio the previous day. Kris Wright and Ryan Ellis began their days at the back due to unapproved adjustments.

Cindric, who has four road course wins, led the first half of the opening stage but drama was apparent almost immediately. After just one lap, Noah Gragson went off course in the opening corner, spilling oil that caused Cody Ware to spin. Another fluid caution came on lap nine. Allmendinger would take the lead for the restart on lap 13 and lead to the stage victory ahead of Cindric, Justin Haley, Jeb Burton, Justin Allgaier, Brandon Jones, Riley Herbst, Alex Labbé, Michael Annett, and Jeremy Clements.

Despite claiming a stage point, Clements stalled his car on lap 42 for what would be the lone yellow flag of the second stage. Gibbs had led much of the segment until the caution, and Allmendinger’s Kaulig Racing team-mate Haley would take the lead with five laps remaining to win as many of the leaders including Allmendinger elected to pit before the green-checkered flag. Jones, Burton, Herbst, Cindric, Labbé, Myatt Snider, Brandon Brown, Annett, and Ellis rounded out the top ten.

Between stages, Allmendinger was slapped with a penalty for not meeting the fifty-second mimimum pit time. The regulation, introduced in 2020 but not used that year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, was among a litany of pit rules implemented for all standalone Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series races. As a result, he began Stage #3 in nineteenth.

Cindric dominated the final stage until Burton spun into the gravel on lap 70. Three laps later, Jones overshot turn five and collected Labbé, Wright, and Kyle Weatherman while all five were running in the top ten. The incident resulted in overtime as Allmendinger led.

While Cindric’s overtime and race went south after being forced off course in a three-wide battle with Gibbs and Haley, Allmendinger drove off to claim his second win of the year and seventh in his career.

Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images

An open-wheel and sports car racer, Allmendinger previously recorded Xfinity road course victories at Road America (2013), Mid-Ohio (2013), and the Charlotte Roval (2019 and 2020). The first Mid-Ohio win came at the track’s inaugural Xfinity event. Ambrose, a Supercars Championship great, is the only other driver with five Xfinity road wins; four came at Watkins Glen and the fifth at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. Interestingly, Allmendinger’s lone Cup Series victory came on a road course after defeating Ambrose at Watkins Glen in 2014.

“(Michael Shank) came here to see me,” Allmendinger commented. Shank had won the Indianapolis 500 the previous week while his sports car programme won the 2012 Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona with Allmendinger. “How lucky am I? I love Shank.

“This is (Kaulig Racing owner) Matt Kaulig‘s Super Bowl […] It’s just such a big deal. I always want to win for him, but here, I put a lot more pressure on myself to try to win.”

Haley finished second to mark a Kaulig 1–2 finish. Andy Lally tied his career best in fifth for the fourth different time, while Josh Berry placed eighth to give Jordan Anderson Racing—who had missed the first ten races with no owner points—three top tens in as many starts. Cindric’s overtime incident relegated him to fourteenth.

Race results

11216A.J. AllmendingerKaulig RacingChevrolet78Running
21011Justin HaleyKaulig RacingChevrolet78Running
3254Ty GibbsJoe Gibbs RacingToyota78Running
4719Brandon JonesJoe Gibbs RacingToyota78Running
52723Andy LallyOur MotorsportsChevrolet78Running
6668Brandon BrownBrandonbilt MotorsportsChevrolet78Running
7151Michael AnnettJR MotorsportsChevrolet78Running
83131Josh BerryJordan Anderson RacingChevrolet78Running
92339Ryan SiegRSS RacingFord78Running
102492Josh WilliamsDGM RacingChevrolet78Running
111636Alex LabbéDGM RacingChevrolet78Running
121118Daniel HemricJoe Gibbs RacingToyota78Running
131948Jade BufordBig Machine RacingChevrolet78Running
14122Austin CindricTeam PenskeFord78Running
152117Cody WareSS-Green Light RacingFord78Running
16410Jeb BurtonKaulig RacingChevrolet78Running
174052Gray GauldingJimmy Means RacingChevrolet78Running
18174Ryan VargasJD MotorsportsChevrolet78Running
193466Matt JaskolMBM MotorsportsToyota78Running
20206Landon CassillJD MotorsportsChevrolet78Running
21998Riley HerbstStewart-Haas RacingFord78Running
223015Colby HowardJD MotorsportsChevrolet78Running
23325Matt MillsB.J. McLeod MotorsportsChevrolet78Running
242278Jesse LittleB.J. McLeod MotorsportsChevrolet78Running
253990Preston PardusDGM RacingChevrolet78Running
263547Kyle WeathermanMike Harmon RacingChevrolet78Running
27298Miguel PaludoJR MotorsportsChevrolet78Running
282899Ryan EllisB.J. McLeod MotorsportsChevrolet78Running
29142Myatt SniderRichard Childress RacingChevrolet78Running
303707Joe Graf Jr.SS-Green Light RacingChevrolet77Running
311802Brett MoffittOur MotorsportsChevrolet75Fuel Pump
323326Kris Wright*Sam Hunt RacingToyota71Accident
33851Jeremy ClementsJeremy Clements RacingChevrolet68Running
34260Jeffrey EarnhardtJD MotorsportsChevrolet68Running
3557Justin AllgaierJR MotorsportsChevrolet67Running
363661David StarrMBM MotorsportsToyota66Running
373874Bayley Currey*Mike Harmon RacingChevrolet30Electrical
38320Harrison BurtonJoe Gibbs RacingToyota19Accident
392544Tommy Joe MartinsMartins MotorsportsChevrolet7Engine
40139Noah GragsonJR MotorsportsChevrolet0Accident
Italics – Competing for Rookie of the Year
* – Ineligible for Xfinity points
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About author
Justin is a History major at San Jose State University and lifelong racing fan who has worked for The Checkered Flag since 2018. His coverage mainly focuses on NASCAR, the Stadium Super Trucks, and off-road series like Extreme E and SCORE International. He also dabbles in other disciplines such as IndyCar, rallycross, and sports cars.
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